The razor-sharp satirists behind "The Onion" and a former director of the embattled National Security Agency are among this spring's speakers in the Johns Hopkins University's Foreign Affairs Symposium, a series of free public lectures.

Students selected the guests for the symposium, titled "Confronting Global Dissonance: The Balance between Realism and Idealism." The schedule features:


•Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, Feb. 19. The two-term governor has given indications of a potential run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.

•The Onion writers, Feb. 26. Founded in 1988 as a student newspaper, the Onion has evolved into a Peabody-winning news-parody website.

•Diplomat John Bolton, March 13: The Baltimore native and McDonogh School graduate is a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

• Princeton University professor Cornel West, March 26. The author of "Race Matters" and "Democracy Matters" recently published a memoir, "Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud."

• Gen. Michael Hayden and Georgetown University professor David Cole, April 1. Hayden, former director of the CIA and NSA, and Cole, a constitutional law expert, will debate the NSA's impact on personal privacy and national security.

•Kiva co-founder Jessica Jackley, April 16. She and the seminal peer-to-peer micro-lending site have been hailed by publications such as Forbes and The New York Times Magazine.

Lectures are free. Reserved seating is available for $25 via jhutickets.com.

All six lectures will begin at 8 p.m. in Shriver Hall on the Homewood Campus at 3400 N. Charles St.